Friday, February 12, 2016

52 Weeks to a Simpler Life – Tip #22 – Travel Simple and LIGHT

Almost everyone travels somewhere for something at some time. True, there are some recluses and hermits who choose to never venture far from their nest or cave. But, in the second decade of the 21st Century, I'm sure the recluses and hermits are more the exception than the rule. And, of course, there are some people who can't travel or find it difficult due to illness or any number of physical impairments. However, I see many people with a variety of disability issues getting out and traveling more and more. I commend them for their courage and tenacity to overcome their individual challenges

Here's the thing, if you're reading this article, you are interested in simplifying your life. Some of you may not want to accept and implement this tip. That's okay. Everyone is an individual and can do whatever they choose to. I'm basically a pragmatic person. I've experienced just about everything I write about and I call on my past life experience to create these tips. I've been implementing them in my own life, or at the very least, have witnessed other people dealing with these issues and choosing to simplify each of their lives.

We travel with too much stuff! That's a simple, clear, concise statement. Some readers will agree with that statement. Others won't agree. It doesn't matter. Unless you've already simplified your life and become a minimalist, you travel with too much stuff.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Photo-of-the-Week #249 Reminiscing, My Mountain Home. Winchester, Virginia 1993-2003

Two weeks ago, as of the time of this writing, the east coast experienced the “Blizzard of 2016.” The thought of that snow event had me reminiscing about all the snow and snow events I've experienced during my nearly 71 year lifetime. Growing up in northern New Jersey during the last half of the 1940's through the middle of the 1960's, then experiencing two years of frozen white snow and freezing cold hell in Syracuse, New York should have been enough, one might think. Thanks to my Uncle Sam and Vietnam, I was plucked from Syracuse and sent to San Antonio, Texas for about 8 months during the next winter.

Then I was relocated to the”South” in the Mid-Atlantic region. It's important to understand, those of us from northern New Jersey during that time believed anything south of the Delaware Memorial Bridge crossing from South Jersey into Delaware was “The South.” But, I learned different when it came to the weather.

Sure, the folks started talking different as I came south and said things like “all y'all” and “come back now, heah.” But, what I didn't know was that the freezing cold and white fluffy stuff didn't stop at the South Jersey border. . . READ MORE & SEE ANOTHER PHOTO

Friday, February 5, 2016

52 Weeks to a Simpler Life – Tip #21 – Eliminate the Extras & Spares

Okay, it's always good to have an extra corkscrew or pair of scissors, right? How about batteries? Isn't it maddening that just when you need to use some battery operated device (and there are more and more of those devices these days) the battery in the device is dead and you don't have a spare. If it's great to have one pair of glasses, but shouldn't you really have a spare set in case you misplace the first pair?

How many items can you list that you have duplicates, back-ups, spares and convenience copies of? If you're like most average consumers, you likely will end up with a good size list. It's smart, right? Remember the old Boy Scout motto, “Be Prepared.” There is probably some corollary of Murphy's law that says, “if you one have one of something you use regularly, you're bound to lose it.” Not necessarily so. Read on . . .

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Photo-of-the-Week #248 If I Had My Druthers, Ft. Pierce, Florida, January 2014

Yep! This photo says it all. If I had my druthers right about now, I'd be sitting on this beach at Pepper State Park in Ft. Pierce, Florida or on Manhattan Beach outside Los Angeles or on the beach on Padre Island. I'd be anywhere I've been or not yet been, as long as it was warm with balmy breezes and preferably with the sound of seagulls and the ocean surf to lull me to sleep. . . READ MORE

Saturday, January 30, 2016

I Hate Life!

Yes! I, the guy who is always trying to be positive and inspiring and avoids the use of the word (and emotion of) “hate,” hates life. You may be saying to yourself, “Say, it isn't so!” How can Ed Helvey, the guy who has shed so much of the traditional, mainstream lifestyle of the average, middle-class American, make such an all encompassing, negative pronouncement about life? All he ever does is write about living free and being happy.

I'm afraid I'm just human. I just can't hold back my true feelings any longer. I've finally come to grips with certain realities that cause me to make this proclamation. But, what's even worse is that I've met more and more people who share this hatred and I associate with them all the time. There is so much to hate about this life.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

52 Weeks to a Simpler Life – Tip #20 – Do What You Love And The Money Will Follow

It's been established that 70% (an average based on multiple surveys and polls) of the population don't like their jobs or what they are doing for a living. So, this begs the question, Why? Why do people keep doing something they don't like? I'm talking about their J.O.B.s.

I've mentioned this before in other articles like the ones I did about Living Life and Defining Yourself. Why do we settle for whatever ultimately seems to happen? This question can be applied to many things such as relationships, the homes we live in, where we live and the specific thing this article focuses on, our job, career, occupation, profession or however you want to describe what you do to earn your financial income to afford the lifestyle you live and the overhead to sustain it.

Have you truly taken the time to analyze why you do what you do and why you keep doing it? To many, this may seem like a rhetorical question. You're scratching your head and saying to yourself, is this guy, Ed, dense or from another planet? You're thinking to yourself, I do it because I have to. I have responsibilities and obligations. I have a family that needs to be housed, fed and clothed. I can't just stop doing whatever it is I do because I don't like it or I'm not happy doing it. That's a good rationalization for not allowing yourself to think outside the box.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Photos-of-the-Week #247 Blizzard 2016 – North Central West Virginia, January 2016

This week I'm going to let the photos do the speaking. Here's what I'll tell you. I'm still located in north central West Virginia on the West Virginia-Maryland border (the Potomac River) about 23 miles south of Cumberland, Maryland. This is all a very rural region. It's known as the Potomac Highlands although the small town I'm located in is actually in a small valley at about 800 feet above sea level, surrounded by mountains that probably range from 400 to 800 feet higher.

I had planned to be in warmer climates by this time, but “Stuff Happens” and, while the stuff was not of my own making, I agreed to stay around the area to provide assistance for my friend and my sister. I had no intention of experiencing another blizzard in my lifetime. I've weathered many of them in New Jersey, central New York, Annapolis, Maryland and Winchester, Virginia. My snow preference is to watch it on TV, in movies, see it in photos or, on occasion, visit the snow with the intent of immediately leaving it behind. . . READ MORE & SEE MORE PHOTOS